Binance has been a major player in the cryptocurrency charity scene, having previously started the Bitcoin Charity Foundation to battle global poverty. The company describes the foundation as follows:
“Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of blockchain-enabled philanthropy towards achieving global, sustainable development. BCF aims to transform philanthropy by developing the world’s first decentralized charity foundation to build a future where blockchain technology can be used to end all forms of poverty and inequality, advance sustainable development and ensure that no one is left behind. The foundation is initiated by Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, headed by Helen Hai, UNIDO goodwill ambassador, with Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta as the chair of its senior advisory board.”
Trying to Make a Change
Like many exchanges, Binance has come under fire for allegedly “enormous” listing fees. Most exchanges have been relatively transparent regarding the costs to list on their marketplaces, but this hasn’t been the case with every venture, and funds are typically garnered from initial listing fees, margin accounts and trading spreads among other tactics.
However, the exchange’s team has listed the following statement on its website:
“Binance will make a change to its listing fee policy. Starting immediately, and going forward, we will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100 percent of them to charity. Project teams will still propose the number they would like to provide for a ‘listing fee,’ or now more appropriately called a ‘donation.’ Binance will not dictate a number, nor is there a minimum required listing fee. Any project will be able to decide what is their fee (donation), and this fee will be disclosed to the public through Binance’s charity initiative.”
Bitcoin Can Be Used for Good
The company’s CEO Changpeng Zhao (also known as CZ) immediately announced that larger donations do not guarantee, or even influence executives’ decisions regarding which new cryptocurrencies to list.
He further stated that the change is designed to increase blockchain use for social purposes and the “greater good,” though he made no mention regarding which charities the company would select to receive donations. The announcement comes at a time when the exchange is desperately trying to clean up its partnerships and listings process per its Korean blog.
A Questionable History
Binance has frequently been accused by critics of unfair listing processes, showing favoritism towards projects that were willing to pay large amounts of money to have their coins listed on the company’s trading platform. These arguments arose after it was revealed that Binance had demanded roughly 400 BTC ($2.6 million) to list an unknown digital token back in August.
CZ later took to Twitter to say that the $2.6 million fee was false, explaining:
“We don’t list sh*tcoins, even if they pay 400 or 4,000 BTC. [ETH, NEO, XRP, EOS, XMR, LTC and more] listed with no fee. The question is not, ‘How much does Binance charge to list?’ but, ‘Is my coin good enough?’ It’s not the fee – it’s your project!”
Something Fishy Going On?
Binance says that to get a coin listed on their website, one must submit a formal application, never disclose a listing or partnership, and one can never use Binance’s logos in relative marketing material.
Unfortunately, one source cites the company’s latest move as simply a way of distracting people from the negative press it’s been getting, warning readers not to be “fooled by Binance’s good intentions.” It says that to this day, Binance has provided “no concrete guidelines” regarding how much it charges cryptocurrency projects to list coins, and says that until it’s truly standardized, there’s no way to understand how much “abuse” is occurring.